Green Bay Packers Once Were Second Favorites To Win The Super Bowl – Do They Still have a Chance?

2015 was a mixed season for the Packers that ultimately ended in disappointment as they lost the Divisional Playoffs (20-26 in overtime to the Arizona Cardinals) and ended up watching the Super Bowl at home. This year, Green Bay will be hoping to go the extra yard and make it all the way to the Big Game. 888sport initially ranked them as the second favorites to go all the way, behind the New England Patriots. Here we analyse the Packers performances so far this season and what they need to do to make the Super Bowl this season.

The Season So Far

In the 2015 season, the Packers won their first six games on the bounce, which took them up to their bye week, and then lost three games in a row. This season, Green Bay may be pleased to have got a much needed win after their bye week to take their current league record to 3-1. What’s more is that the Packers got an impressive 23-16 win over the New York Giants, who have since gone on a winning streak.

A loss to the Dallas Cowboys followed, but this was somewhat expected due to the excellent season the Cowboys are having, unbeaten since their first game. Similarly, a decisive victory over the Chicago Bears was expected, the Bears are in dire form having only picked up two wins all season. That win against the Bears has since been followed by three consecutive defeats against the Atlanta Falcons, Indianapolis Colts and the Tennessee Titans. This leaves the Packers with a disappointing 4-5 record and they currently sit third in their conference and 12th in their division, six places outside the Wild Card playoff places.


Why Aaron Rodgers Is Broken

Editor’s note: this article was written by guest author Elisha Twerski. You can follow him on Twitter at @ETwPhoneHome


Aaron Rodgers is….umm…struggling, to say the least. You’ve probably heard some asinine theories to explain his performance: He’s jealous of his brother winning the Bachelorette, his numbers have been down since deflategate (thanks, Tom Brady), there’s some secret injury that no one knows about, and my favorite theory is that he’s too distracted by Olivia Munn. If you buy into any of those theories, stop reading now.

From 2010 to 2014 Rodgers played like one of the best quarterbacks of all time. He consistently made jaw-dropping throws and committed turnovers at a historically low rate. The two-time NFL MVP had mastered the quarterback position.

On August 23rd, 2015, Jordy Nelson tore his ACL. Considering the circumstances, the first four weeks of that season may have been the best four week stretch of Rodgers’ career. Rodgers threw for 11 touchdowns while not committing a single turnover, leading the Packers to a 4-0 record. He even made James Jones look like Calvin Johnson.

In week 8, the 6-0 Packers went into Denver to take on the 6-0 Broncos, led by a ferocious defense. If you were to talk to anyone who knows a thing or two about the Packers, they’d point to that game as a turning point for Rodgers. The Broncos figured out that you can’t stop Rodgers by stopping Rodgers, you stop Rodgers by taking away his receivers. It also helped that they had the league’s best pass rush. A recipe for stifling the Packers offense was created.


Packers Sign Undrafted Green Bay Native as Center

The Green Bay Packers have a tradition where players ride bicycles to and from practice during training camp, which has been going on for a long time. As a kid, Kyle Steuck parked his bike outside the team’s training facility, hoping one of the players will pick him up for the traditional ride. Now, he is a member of the Packers who has young kids hoping he picks one of them for the ride. NFL free picks have the Packers winning the NFC North, but the team still has to contend with the Minnesota Vikings, who won the division last year.

Steuck, who grew up in Green Bay and went to high school five miles from Lambeau Field, signed with the Packers on Saturday and made his practice debut with the team on Sunday. He told reporters after practice that playing for the Packers is a big deal for someone that grew up in the town. He said he remembered going to practice and hoping one of the players grabs his bike, now he is the one grabbing a kid’s bike, and called it a dream come true.

As a home-grown talent, there was a lot of local media members around Steuck in the area of the Packers locker room where undrafted players change. Several Packers players wondered what all the commotion was about until tight end Casey Pierce told them that Steuck was from Green Bay.


Green Bay Packers Try Out Nighttime Practice Sessions

The Green Bay Packers will have spent at least four nights practicing under the lights before going into the first of their preseason games. After an opening week of intense training in the early morning, head coach Mike McCarty is turning his attention to the evening workouts, which should give NFL betting odds enthusiasts a little more data to analyze.

If Veteran Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is to be believed, then the intensity of nighttime practice will be made more bearable and enjoyable by the incredible fan support.

An estimated 66,000 warm bodies filled the seats at Lambeau Field for the annual family Night Practice on Sunday. McCarthy thought the Ninety-Minute Long practice session was fruitful, this despite all the distracting attractions in play.

The rookie that he is, Blake Martinez was expectedly awed by the astonishing reception from the crowd when he ran onto the field. For McCarthy, the sooner first-year players encounter the excitement of such an experience, the better.

A fourth-round pick from Stanford, Martinez chose to remain on the field after practice, determined to first watch the fireworks display above the Stadium. For Martinez, the experience was especially awe-inspiring because his open practices back at Stanford where lucky to attract thirty people during any given session.

The sixty thousand strong crowd was naturally astounding to the young player who had never seen so many people even during his actual games at Stanford. It isn’t surprising that Martinez had so much fun.


Open Letter to NFL Hall of Fame Seniors Committee: Vote in Packers Guard Jerry Kramer

Dear NFL Hall of Fame Seniors Committee:

As custodians of the NFL of yesteryear, you are charged with recognizing the remarkable players of a different era. I commend the job you have done as the Pro Football Hall of Fame is well represented with many deserving players from decades long ago. It is a highly subjective and difficult task that you have gotten right so many times.

However, there is one glaring omission in the hallowed hall. Guard Jerry Kramer, a cornerstone of the Packers dynasty of the 1960s, has not been selected.

His resume speaks for itself and is definitely worthy of enshrinement. Over the years, I have read possible reasons and excuses for why he has not yet been selected.

I will address these criticisms in hopes of garnering your attention and consideration. Jerry Kramer is deserving of enshrinement, and his last chances rest in your hands.

Hall of Fame Credentials

Jerry Kramer played right guard for the Packers from 1958-1968. He was highly skilled in run blocking for Hall of Fame running backs Paul Hornung and Jim Taylor, as well as pass blocking for Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr. Kramer was integral to the legendary “Packers Sweep” that won an unprecedented five NFL championships in seven years.


Eddy Lacy’s Weight Loss Lessens Packers Burden

The Green Bay Packers are one of football’s finest franchises. With a dedicated fan base and highly competitive roster, they demand success. Usually, with Aaron Rodgers at the helm, they get it. However, their hard-hitting running back Eddie Lacy fell below his and the team’s expectations last season. The offense certainly suffered as a result. However, he has lost weight, refined his skill set, and changed his mindset. Could this be what Mike McCarthy’s men need to be achieve Super Bowl success this coming season?

Lacy, when in full flow, protects Rodgers and also gives him a break from throwing the ball. However, last season he let himself go, and the team struggled after that.

He was told not so subtly (publicly and certainly privately as well) to lose weight. He did just that. He spent time with Tony Horton, the founder of P90X, a famous workout regime.

It worked.

The two-month camp changed his body, his mind and the Packers’ chances of success. There’s plenty of sports to bet on this summer, but maybe it’s worth investing your time on Lacy’s Packers.

Horton explained “I wasn’t here to do football stuff. I mean, I made him do yoga. We went to boxing classes. We did P90X, we did P90X2, we did 22 Minute Hard Corps, we did a lot of my personal workouts. We did pull-ups and push-ups until we couldn’t lift our arms. We did everything.”


Packers sign Spriggs to roster as Boyd leaves

With the NFL draft complete and the new NFL season vast approaching, the Green Bay Packers have made changes to their roster over recent days. The most impactful changes come in the shape of second round pick Jason Spriggs and the surprise release of veteran defensive tackle Josh Boyd.

The Packers selected defensive tackle Kenny Clark in the first round of this year’s draft. Both Clark and third round pick Kyler Fackrell remain unsigned from their seven player draft class.

Recently, Packers General Manager Ted Thompson announced the signings of both Spriggs and tight end Casey Pierce along with several other rookie free agents. Pierce spent last season with the Detroit Lions having been undrafted from Kent State, and will be looking to make an immediate impression following success in his team’s two practice sessions at the back end of last week. However, as a result of such incoming players, the Packers have had to five players from their roster of last season.

It’s the release of Boyd that has caused the most surprise among Packers supporters, with the twenty-six-year-old displaying last season that when fit, he can provide some quality depth along the defensive line. Alongside Boyd in leaving the Lambeau Field were tackle Jeremy Vujnovich, defensive tackle William Campbell, tight end David Grinnage and wide receiver Dennis Parks. Head Coach Mike McCarthy will certainly be hoping that such changes can help his team improve on performances this time around.